Skip to content
Government Federal

Strengthening Australia’s approach to trade negotiations: final report published

Parliament of Australia 2 mins read

The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth has released its final report into the Australian Government’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements, which examined how Australia can strengthen its approach to trade negotiations.

Australia’s trade and investment agreements reduce barriers to trade for Australian goods, services, and investment, creating well paid and secure jobs, improving our economic resilience, and contributing to economic growth and increased living standards.

Throughout the inquiry the Committee heard about the immense benefits of trade to Australia, as well as the need to ensure that agreements are genuinely in the national interest.

The Chair of the Committee, Mr Steve Georganas MP, said: “Trade makes a significant contribution to Australia’s prosperity and our approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements has served us well. However, it’s evident to the Committee that more robust processes to identify the impact of agreements on Australian jobs and industries would be highly valuable.

We must continue to adapt and improve our approach to ensure that our participation in international trade is of the greatest benefit to all Australians.”

The Committee’s report makes eight recommendations to strengthen Australia’s approach to negotiating trade and investment agreements including by:

  • Undertaking independent modelling and analysis of each proposed or under review agreement.
  • Establishing a consistent approach to evaluating agreements including conducting broader assessment of economic, social, and environmental impacts.
  • Seeking to include human rights, labour, and environmental chapters in agreements, that where appropriate contain specific references to relevant international standards.
  • Seeking to not include provisions in agreements that waive labour market and skills testing requirements or investor state dispute settlement provisions.
  • Pursuing the inclusion of provisions in agreements that protect and promote First Nations intellectual property.
  • Establishing a legislative framework to guide some elements of the negotiation of trade and investment agreements.

The Committee’s final report builds on its interim report published on 6 February 2024, that made five recommendations focussed on improving transparency, accountability, and oversight in the process for negotiating Australia’s trade and investment agreements.

Throughout the inquiry, the Committee held eight public hearings in Canberra, Melbourne and virtually, in addition to receiving 54 written submissions from businesses, unions, industry associations, government agencies, community groups and individuals.                                 

The Committee would like to thank all those who have taken part in the inquiry by providing written submissions and giving evidence at public hearings.

The Committee’s final report can be found on the inquiry webpage.

Media inquiries

Office of Mr Steve Georganas MP
Chair, Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth
0437 387 378

For background information

Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth
02 6277 2233

More from this category

  • Environment, Government Federal
  • 30/05/2024
  • 07:01
Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) and Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)

Climate groups say Australia must advocate for loss and damage finance for Pacific at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Civil society groups from across Australia and the Pacific are calling on the Australian Government to champion loss and damage finance for Pacific Island countries at the upcoming Bonn UN Climate Change Conference, saying there is an urgent need to support frontline communities grappling with the escalating climate crisis. In a joint letter led by Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) and Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), supported by over 25 other organisations, civil society groups are urging the Australian Government to support Pacific countries’ call to include loss and damage in a new global climate finance goal under negotiation.…

  • Contains:
  • Government Federal
  • 29/05/2024
  • 20:40
Susan McKinnon Foundation

APS must show it has changed by implementing the lessons from Robodebt: new report

The Australian Public Service must use the Robodebt experience as a prompt to revisit its values and draw lessons for the future, according to a new report by the Susan McKinnon Foundation (SMF). Robodebt was a painful episode in Australia’s history, and to prevent a recurrence, its lessons must be embedded in the daily practices of the Australian Public Service. A new report by the Susan McKinnon Foundation synthesizes the ten key lessons from Robodebt, based on a direct analysis of the Royal Commission transcripts. The Susan McKinnon Foundation partnered with Professor Emeritus Richard Mulgan to analyse the findings of…

  • Energy, Government Federal
  • 29/05/2024
  • 15:25
RMIT University

Net-zero bill to focus on the transition of energy workers: RMIT expert available

The Net Zero Economy Authority Bill is being debated in parliament again today. An RMIT expert can comment on the pathway to net-zero. Dr Manoj Datta, Electrical and Electronic Engineering “There should be a clear national plan to phase out coal and gas-based power generation. “The Net Zero Economy Authority Bill does not discuss or show a clear pathway to net-zero; rather, it is about forming or creating an authority that will mainly facilitate the transition of energy workers currently working in coal or gas power stations. “This authority will have no legislative powers to shut down or request the…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.